Four in court after drug raid

Four people, including a 16-year-old, faced charges of possession after a raid turned up 8.5kg of cannabis

A 16-year old boy who suffers from a learning disability was this morning granted bail after he pleaded not guilty to aggravated possession and conspiracy to trafficking cannabis.

The youngster, who cannot be named by court order, was arrested on Sunday together with four other persons in Zabbar as they were driving out of a garage. The police discovered cannabis, both in the vehicle and in the garage, amounting to some 8.5kg.

The arrests were made following a police investigation spanning several weeks.

He was arraigned together with 55-year-old Italian nationals Antonio D’Amico, his sister Anna Geltrude, and Kristijan Zekic, 32, from Slovenia. 

The four appeared in the dock charged with being in possession of cannabis grass in circumstances that denoted it was not solely for their personal consumption. The fifth defendant has not yet been charged.

Zekic was further charged with selling cannabis and being in possession of an unlicenced firearm.

Magistrate Audrey Demicoli was told by the prosecution that Zekic was also found to be in possession of a false Uzbeki passport, however his lawyer, Giannella De Marco pointed out that this was not included in the charge sheet.

The court heard how the 16-year-old was an MCAST student and suffered from a severe learning disability, having a reading age of six.  

The prosecution had objected to bail due to serious nature of offence and due to lack of ties with the Maltese Islands. De Marco, for the defence, argued that there are no witnesses other than Police and that there was no risk of interfering with witnesses or contamination of evidence.

After hearing submissions on bail, the magistrate ordered the three adult accused be remanded in custody, while the minor was granted bail against a bond of €1000, a personal guarantee of €3000 and ordered him to observe a curfew.

Gabriel Micallef prosecuted, Gianluca Caruana Curran represented the minor and Giannella De Marco defended Zekic. Lawyer Anthony Cutajar was legal aid to the D'Amicos.